Hiroshi-Ultra

Sonic Vocalizer

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The voice-as-instrument tradition has always been much more a part of Japanese music than it is in the West -- take Yoko Ono as the most obvious argument -- and it's this aesthetic that Hiroshi-Ultra comes from. Sonic Vocalizer takes a musical basis of sound manipulations and effects, sometimes veering into ambience and sometimes laying out bulky rhythms and pop structures -- but the true work of the record is done vocally, with frequently stunning vocal noise shooting through fuzz and effects and providing the movement in the album's composition. It's an approach that will probably prove unsettling for the average Western listener, but fares well in comparison to similarly constructed Japanese records.